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HEC Paris MBA for US Career

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HEC Paris MBA for US Career [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2011, 12:43
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Hey Everyone,

Looking forward to thoughts on this. I'm currently working in the US but intend to return to Europe in the long term, but not immediately after an MBA. I would be returning to the US after getting my degree. With this in mind, I am wondering how valuable an MBA from HEC Paris will be for my career development. The knowledge of the HEC Paris MBA seems to be limited in the US which I am concerned could hurt me in the long run. Does anyone have any thoughts on the value of the HEC Paris MBA in the US? Alternatively, what caliber US school do you think would provide similar opportunities immediately following graduation?

Since my long term goal is to return to Europe it seems like there is still value in the degree.

I really appreciate everyone's insight and good luck to all!
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Re: HEC Paris MBA for US Career [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 08:02
I would assume that it depends somewhat on your field? I am not sure what industries HEC Paris is known in. Like for example, INSEAD is well known for consulting -- so you'd have an advantage both in US and Europe.

Also, are you going to continue in same field as you were pre-MBA? I would think that your previous work experience added with a MBA would help further your career no matter what (though, whether that means you can get the more coveted positions at well known companies might be another issue). I think if you are doing a career change post MBA, then coming back to the US with a HEC Paris degree might be a little challenging. Just my personal opinion though -- absolutely no research basis for it.
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Re: HEC Paris MBA for US Career [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2011, 07:47
Thanks for your thoughts! I'm thinking along the same lines. I'm in a strategic marketing role similar to consulting and I'm looking to get in strategy consulting, hopefully at a top firm. Beyond LBS and INSEAD, what European Schools hold the most weight in the US? I'm also considering Oxford and Cambridge, but I'm really attracted by the bilingual option at HEC Paris.

I really appreciate everyone's take!
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Re: HEC Paris MBA for US Career [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2011, 11:44
swissmix wrote:
Thanks for your thoughts! I'm thinking along the same lines. I'm in a strategic marketing role similar to consulting and I'm looking to get in strategy consulting, hopefully at a top firm. Beyond LBS and INSEAD, what European Schools hold the most weight in the US? I'm also considering Oxford and Cambridge, but I'm really attracted by the bilingual option at HEC Paris.

I really appreciate everyone's take!


I would talk to some US strategy consultants to see what European schools holds the most recognition aside from LBS and INSEAD. I have a similar dilemma as you do (I want to work in Europe immediately after graduation, but may want to return to the US/Canada area in the long term). I chose LBS, INSEAD, Cambridge and Oxford as my schools.

The latter two were chosen mainly for the universal brand recognition of the university they are attached to. The programs themselves -- I think Oxford's program is very young (not age of classmates, age of the program itself) so it has kind of long way to go in terms of alumni and career networks. However, from my research (talking to Oxford students who are not part of the MBA), seems like Oxford is pouring A LOT of money and investments into the MBA program -- which to me, is a huge positive signal. And for how young the program is, it is already high in the world and euro rankings.

As for cambridge, i think the university has a little less brand recognition than oxford in the US (but it may be personal perception). Certainly, in Europe, Cambridge is VERY well recognized.

What is the main reason why you want to go to a European school?
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Re: HEC Paris MBA for US Career [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2011, 12:04
Great thoughts enkie, good point about speaking to US strategy consultants.

I'm originally from Europe and intend to establish myself there in the long term. I'm attracted by the diversity of European programs, their length, but I'm also thinking that the European degree will be more valuable when I try to return to Europe longer term. How about yourself? Then again, if I can't find a decent job with an HEC Paris degree in the US I would not have very valuable skills to leverage when I return to Europe. The exchange programs offered at HEC Paris are interesting, but very competitive from what I understand.

I recently eliminated Cambridge and Oxford from my list but I'm wavering again. I browsed through LinkedIn to see how well represented both degrees were in the US, and Oxford did seem to edge out Cambridge overall, as well as for the more interesting positions.
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Re: HEC Paris MBA for US Career [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2011, 12:20
My honest opinion is that the MBA degree is most useful in the short term in getting the coveted position in the desired region. In the long term, hopefully you would already have all the experience and skills that you need. I think once it's past the 5 year mark, its more about your exp than your degree. If i were in your shoes and my immediate short term goal was to work in the U.S., then I would choose a program that is more recognizable in the US.

If there are specific firms that you are targeting, then you'd want to also do some research to see if those firms are specifically recruiting at whatever programs you apply to.

Are you applying to any US schools at all? I would strong suggest looking into US programs that have a strong consulting presence. That would be most helpful for you immediately post MBA.
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Re: HEC Paris MBA for US Career [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2011, 12:52
Points well taken.

I'm applying to a few top 10 programs in the US, but if none of those pan out I'm not sure the that the value of a US MBA outside of the top 10 is there when compared to a school like HEC Paris.

Oxford is creeping back into my mind again as a solid alternative. Are you considering any US programs?
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Re: HEC Paris MBA for US Career [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2011, 13:09
Yeah I hear about the top 10. Although I am inclined to expand that to top 15 personally -- UCLA, Yale, NYU for example are all great programs.

The only US school I am applying to is Wharton.

My main priority is moving to Europe (serious bf in europe) that's why I am considering mainly only European programs. Also, I have an economics masters from an Ivy League -- so I am thinking for US firms, I have that on my side as far as branding my resume.

If I were not trying to move to Europe, my US school list would have expanded to include MIT and Stanford. My focus is innovation, entrepreneurship and technology based. So i think MIT and Stanford are great schools for that (though, Stanford's young average class age is a con for me -- as I am an older applicant with a lot of WE so I am not sure how much I can learn from my classmates if they are still at the beginning of their careers).

Another big draw for European programs is the shortened study time as well as the cheaper price tag. I think as an applicant with a lot of WE (and at management level), i don't necessarily need the full 2 years of study since I am not doing a complete career change. My goal is merely to transition into a related (but distinct) field and there are some gaps I need to fill.

Not sure if this all makes sense.

Which are your safety schools? Oxford and Cambridge are pretty much my safeties.
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Re: HEC Paris MBA for US Career [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2011, 14:19
Seems like we're in somewhat similar boats, HEC Paris and Oxford would be my least ambitious programs. We'll see what happens. This is quite the process. Best of luck!
Re: HEC Paris MBA for US Career   [#permalink] 24 Sep 2011, 14:19
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